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Thread: Visa Run - basic trip Pattaya to Cambodia

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Visa Run - basic trip Pattaya to Cambodia


    Returning to Thailand, Prum (Cambodia) into Ban Pakkard (Thailand)

    This week I'm off for a quick border crossing to activate the second part of a Double Entry Tourist Visa I got in Vientiane, Laos (see Thread: Visa run Lao double entry)

    Same process as it is for a person wishing to get an extra 15 days (land border crossing) by doing a fast exit/return

    I live in Chanthaburi not Pattaya, but bear with me
    Earlier this year I used a Pattaya visa run company, arranged to meet at a traffic light/intersection not far from home on Sukhumvit (runs all the way from Bangkok to Trat). We're about 2.5hrs from Pattaya and minivan arrived on time for me, 8.30am.



    There are two main border crossings used by visa run companies on the Chanthaburi-Cambodia border
    1 Ban Laem - Daung
    2 Ban Pakkard - Prum





    I've been to both; Ban Laem is bigger with a large market area, but really, not a place i'd go for shopping the aim is 'there and back' quick as possible

    Costs:

    Visa Run Company
    2000 baht seems standard. Just need your passport, copy of passport page with your details on it, and two passport photos
    Fee covers travel, the visa for Cambodia (625b for Cambo visa US$20; note e-Visa cannot be used here so you get a full-page visa sticker for your 20min stay, plus exit and re-entry stamps - passport fillers), they do the paperwork you just have to sign a couple of forms, and maybe a courtesy 500ml water

    Do It Yourself
    From Chanthaburi minivans run to Ban Laem every hour from 6am, leaving from opposite Robinsons Department Store. Costs 100b each way. They leave Ban Laem also on the hour. It is slower, and Ban Laem is also a little further to drive, and they stop along the way to pick up people often loaded with goods they are taking to the market
    Once you get there - well, I won't use the word mafia but the crossing is 'controlled' by the chaps in orange polo shirts, presume they have an agreement with immigration staff both sides of border. The visa companies use them too. There must be a way to 'do it yourself' without being shot, but i didn't bother. Handed over passport, photocopy and photos with 1200 baht (625 of this for Cambo visa US$20, rest their 'fee')

    Duty Free

    Ban Pakkard - been here a few times, last time they no longer let you cross the bridge, instead just pick what alcohol/cigs you want from a booklet and a driver heads across and brings it back. Prices hadn't changed, does save time as they're always in a hurry to get back on the road

    Ban Laem - free vans run on the Cambo side to their contracted duty-free store, guess driver either an employee or gets a commission from customers he brings there

    And back home again - for me/Chanthaburi, just over three hours total.
    From Pattaya - about 9hrs 6am-3pm
    Last edited by Hatari; 22nd August 2013 at 23:28.

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    some pics

    Ban Laem - Daung




    No hurry to go here again. Big border market here - usual stuff t-shirts, shoes, handbags, hats, jeans and prices no different to what they sell for in our town. Daung has a casino, or maybe two, with hotels there too. Looked a depressingly poor place.


    Third pic is the rubbish truck, people climb over it scavenging as it drives along



    Road to dutyfree shop, and the shop, Daung, Cambodia
    Old Dutchman at counter asking about Kamagra or similar: "I want real stuff this time, last time I buy it was a fizzer, no good, nothing"
    Last edited by Hatari; 19th August 2013 at 12:09.

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Ban Pakkard - Prum



    "Nothing to see here, move along"

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    A note on Pong Nam Ron

    Pong Nam Ron on Highway 317, 43km north of Chanthaburi city is the location for the provincial Chanthaburi Immigration Office
    It is 30km from the border, not a border crossing and as such a visa run cannot be done there.
    Until a small Service Centre opened in Chan city October 2012 all Immigration matters had to go to PNR, and I've been told they regularly have people there wanting '15-day visa stamp'

    Minivans to Ban Pakkard and Ban Laem (30-35km away) all pass through PNR, also local van service 50b

    They do 90-day reports, 30-day extensions, work visas, re-entry permits only, same as the new Service Centre in Chan city.



    Before reaching PNR on Highway 317 there's a permanent army road checkpoint at Khao Kluea. A quick look and wave-through for vans, it's an ideal place for police to check vehicles/people too, especially on lookout for stolen motorbikes heading to Cambodia and I've sat there while they checked Green Book against the bike numbers etc, copy of passport was fine.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    I did the Visa run to ban Laem with a group from soi 13 in Patts.
    He is an extract of what i wrote in my TR about it.

    "Ok, did the Visa run yesterday, fcuk i'm glad i don't do that often. What a ****e waste of a day, and i still feel a bit sick from it. 8-9 hrs sitting in the back of a Tarago bus, with not so good suspension, doing 150kl/h over very average roads is not FUN!.

    Newbee me got caught out, didn't i. The seasoned jumped into the best seats in the bus while i and another were still eating b'fast. So only 2 seats left, both at the back over the rear suspension.

    God the road and trip is BORING!!!. Eventually get to the border with Cambodia. Go thru imigration to leave the country, got a nice lady at the counter, who flirted with me, good sign so far.

    Walk around the cattle grids and over a causeway into Cambodia. Now there is nothing but dirt, poverty, bamboo scafolding and child beggars.
    Get ushered to a duity free store by our Cambodian escort. Think i, better buy something to keep him pleased, as he has my pasport in his hand. It was cheap. 12 yr Chivas, 1lt 800bt. Viagra 4 pills for 100bt.(I bought enough to flood the Ausie market so watch out girls!) etc. Coming out the bus driver is there, "you get pleanty? Cigarete?" No don't smoke. "You carry for me?" so yes here i am a cigarete and Viagra smugler from Cambodia to Thailand, All pray for my soul please. 555555

    Back across the causeway thru child beggars, into the imagration que and out the other side into the bus. Lunch is served, eat while traveling.
    A couple of servo stops, and eventually back around 3.15."
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    ^ thanks JC,will be avoiding that one 555

    I might try driving into Cambo through Koh Kong later in the year which will take some researching.
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Foundation Member Uber Star quiksilva's Avatar
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    Hatari, would love to hear a bit more about Chantaburi.
    One side of my GF's family live there. Spent a couple of days there last December and due back again this December.
    Only went to a market and Namtok Phlio.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    I went thru the visa run that works out of the old English Style Pub in Soi 13 which was a bit dearer than others 2100bt??? there are others 3-500bt cheaper but i was told by a Pom I met, that has done it every year for 11 years, that there is less seats in the bus so more leg room but also more importantly, a lot less likelihood of visa overstayer's who cause massive time delays at the customs. Overstayers are cheap charlie's and don't pay the extra.

    Also they were booked out for 1 week in advance and that was quiet season, so be aware.
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    as per my first post, it was of to Ban Pakkard, Cambodian border, today



    Started at Noen Soong on Sukhumvit 3, wait for the minivan, look at the roadside fruit markets, and then a dash across the road perfectly timed with a 5 minute downpour

    Van was on time 9am, front seat for me as the 9 seats in back all taken. 5 min later we stopped at a PTT Station (if only they'd told me, 200m from Ms Hatari's office) for toilet, 7/11 then off again, Pong Nam Ron at 10am, arrived Ban Pakkard 10.35. Highway 317 has had ongoing road widening for several years, now some of the new road in use, unmarked and total lunacy as drivers switch roads depending on which one looks faster.
    And here we are, Ban Pakkard


    Just one building for travelers; it all happens here, order your duty-free from the catalogues at the counter, 3-in-1 coffee 20 baht, a few souvenirs. Watch the people in pic 5 doing the paperwork for an endless supply of passports, name gets called, sign the arrival/departure for then 6 join the queue for Thai immigration

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    That's Prum (7-8) across the bridge which is the border between countries, we're high up here - the hills (mountains!) behind Pong Nam Ron peak at 1550m and it always seems cloudy and bleak, quite a different climate to coastal Chanthaburi
    9 - cannot buy any dark ales locally and this ABC Archipelago Brewing Company 8% stout is a nice drop. Had time for two before we headed back. 10 - road from Ban Pakkard nearing Pong Nam Ron, hills hidden in the clouds

    For me - 9am to 12.15pm, quick and no hassle. For the folk from Pattaya add another 5+ hours travel, approx 2.5-3hrs each way.



    And today's dutyfree - Cutty Black
    'Cutty Black is a 100 proof yet super smooth whisky with a slightly sweet and naturally spiced flavor'
    I'll report back on that
    Last edited by Hatari; 23rd August 2013 at 07:36.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
    Highway 317 has had ongoing road widening for several years, now some of the new road in use, unmarked and total lunacy as drivers switch roads depending on which one looks faster.
    Don`t you love that.
    Heading southbound on highway 11 through Uttaradit last week many k`s of the badly rutted southbound lane is dug up so they divert you around the median strip on to the 2 lane northbound side with no witches hats to remind drivers coming the other way that the fast lane has traffic coming the other way.
    A few instances where they would start to pass slower traffic without realising there`s traffic coming the other way on their side of the road...sigh!!
    Last edited by Moo Uaon; 23rd August 2013 at 01:47.
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    back to the border yesterday, Ban Pakkard (Thai-Cambodia in Chanthaburi province) - and noticeable how quiet it was with less visa run vans
    The change in November from 15 to 30 days for people from the G7 countries (see box below) must have had a big impact on the visa run minivan business and all involved 'downstream'

    Fewer van trips - less work for drivers
    Lower earnings for the Thai and Cambodian people who work processing passports/visas, kickbacks for immigration staff, dutyfree shops, beggars, all will have a drop in income

    Arriving 10.20am I was out of there by 10.40am, my passport having made a trip to Cambodia and back while I had a coffee

    As always, a miserable grey place, must be around 1000m altitude and it's rare I've seen blue skies there, shrouded in misty cloud so often. A lot cooler than home at near sea level.


    1 Exit Thailand 2 Nothing to see here, Ban Pakkard



    Some high fashion on display - must get some of those shorts!


    1 Saw a group of cyclists doing a Spice Roads tour. They'd have come from Battambang and think heading down to either Koh Chang or Chanthaburi. Lots of downhills ahead.
    2 My passport takes a brief trip across the border


    Land-based crossing into Thailand - 15 to 30 days for some From 1 November 2013
    Passport holders from the G7 countries: UK, USA, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Italy will get 30 days rather than 15 day 'Permission to Stay' at the Thai land border crossings with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia
    Last edited by Hatari; 22nd February 2014 at 07:50.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
    some pics

    Ban Laem - Daung




    No hurry to go here again. Big border market here - usual stuff t-shirts, shoes, handbags, hats, jeans and prices no different to what they sell for in our town. Daung has a casino, or maybe two, with hotels there too. Looked a depressingly poor place.


    Third pic is the rubbish truck, people climb over it scavenging as it drives along



    Road to dutyfree shop, and the shop, Daung, Cambodia
    Old Dutchman at counter asking about Kamagra or similar: "I want real stuff this time, last time I buy it was a fizzer, no good, nothing"
    Still , it looks clean enough ...

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